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Table 2 Cycads in the Mexican archeological record, 4700 BC–1780 AD

From: Ethnobotany of Mexican and northern Central American cycads (Zamiaceae)

Region Site • Phase (dates) Cycad remains recovered and relationships to other useful plants
SIERRA DE TAMAULIPAS [12] Total food recovered (L) Dom. plants (L) Dioon (L) Maize (L) Wild plant food (% of diet) Animal food (% of diet) Dom. plants (% of diet)
 Cueva de la Perra a
  • La Perra (3000–2200 BC)b 19.77 1.84 8.1 (41%) 0.85 76 15 9
  • Laguna (600 BC–0 AD)b 23.72 9.28 3.09 (13%) 5.91 51 9 40
 Cueva del Armadillo
  • Los Angeles (1200–1780 AD)b 15.57 6.17 3.44 (22%) 5.42 42 18 40
SIERRA MADRE DE TAMAULIPAS
  Ojo de Agua cavec
  • Palmillas (260–960 AD) Dioon angustifolium: 89 “leaf bases,” 20 “bracts,” 9 seeds
  Romero’s Caved
  • Occupation # 14 (1100–1500 AD) Dioon angustifolium: 2 sclerotesta fragments, with Lagenaria and Cucurbita remains (unexamined remains may include other Dioon fragments)
VALLE DE TEHUACÁN [19] “The broken seed coats [sclerotestas] of this plant are not abundant, but showed that the plant [Dioon sp.] had been fairly persistently used [in the Tehuacán Valley] over some thousands of years”; “The oblong seed...provides a starch food when cooked, but it could never have been important in the diet of the Coxcatlán Cave people”e
 Coxcatlán Cave Seeds recovered Seeds presentf Food (L)g
  • Coxcatlán XII (4700–4300 BC) 1 12 0.1
  • Coxcatlán XI (4217–4025 BC) 7 56 0.3
  • Abejas X (3300–3100 BC) 1 30 0.1
  • Abejas IX (no dates specified) 1 5  
  • Santa Maria VII (450–100 BC) 13 26 0.1
  • Palo Blanco VI (150 BC-280 AD) 4 4  
  • Venta Salada III (790–1010 AD) 2 2  
  • Venta Salada II (1000–1178 AD) 2 2  
 El Riego Cave h
  • Palo Blanco (700–900 AD) 1 sclerotesta fragment
PUUC MAYA REGION, YUCATÁN
  Escalera al Cieloi
  • Terminal Classic (800–950 AD) 3 Zamia sp. starch grains on 3 hand-held stone grinding implements
  1. aThe dominant plant remains of the [La Perra] horizon are Dioon edule [D. angustifolium]. There were 14 bases, 31 bracts, and 1621 seeds of this plant. Since 200 of these acornlike seeds fill a liter, 8.10 liters occur ([12], pç 144)
  2. b“[T]entative absolute dates” ([12], p. 198, Table 31)
  3. cZone C, Occupation 10 ([101], cited in [59]). (Dioon remains also found in Valenzuela’s and Romero’s caves ([102, 103], according to [59]; see also below))
  4. dData provided by Illinois State Museum (emails from Dee Ann Watt to Mark Bonta, 11/17/2009 to 11/30/2009, including photographic plate of Dioon remains); catalog # 817/541ai
  5. e([19], p .235)
  6. fAdjusted for “preservation factor”
  7. gEstimate of food available based on preservation factor
  8. hFour kilometers W of Coxcatlán Cave. From “east niche...zone d”
  9. iFrom Table 7.1, “Starch grains and phytoliths recovered from handheld grinding implements (sediments 2 and 3)” ([61], p. 262)